Good Bots And Bad Bots Online: They Outnumber Us

Good Bots And Bad Bots Online: They Outnumber Us

Good Bots And Bad Bots Online: They Outnumber Us

bot-traffic-report-2013

Bots account for 61.5% of all Internet traffic, according to a new infographic published by online data security company Incapsula. This represents a 21% increase over the past year, and it signifies not only an increase in automated web traffic, but a significant increase in activity by the bad bots – those out to skim information and infiltrate databases and computers everywhere.

Of particular interest is the revelation that half of all bot traffic is “good,” meaning that it is comprised of search engines and other automated programs that supposedly collect data about us for our benefit. The other half, however, consists of “bad” bots, which Incapsula subdivides by type.

These consist of the following:

  • Scrapers: some of these steal email addresses for spam purposes, while others reverse-engineer pricing and business models – essentially scraping data from existing websites for re-use elsewhere;
  • Hackers: tools that break in to other sites to steal credit card data or inject malicious code;
  • Spammers: these steal email addresses and send out billions of useless and annoying email messages, as well as inviting “search engine blacklisting;”
  • Impersonators: these specialize in intelligence gathering, DdoS attacks and bandwidth consumption.

In a recent interview with CloudTweaks, Incapsula CEO Gur Shatz stated that “the inadequacies of today’s defenses, juxtaposed with the ever-rising value of the information that can be stolen, represent a huge opportunity for cybercriminals. Personal or corporate devices are a tremendous intelligence source, carrying richer and more accurate data than ever before, but protections on these devices still mostly rely on outdated technologies such as passwords.” Compounding this issue is the degree by which so many devices are interconnected, and that the public remains largely unaware of the unrelenting presence and of bots and other automated programsthat visit their computers and read their data either unnoticed, or worse with the user’s consent.

Shatz points out that even a company without any major secrets or critical online functionality is still subject to being used as a “mule” to conduct cybercrime. “Even small online businesses such as ecommerce sites are vulnerable,” he says, “because downtime or slowness costs them both money and reputation damage”.

In the short space of one year the proportion of bots to human users has shifted from roughly 50-50 to 60-40, a trend that with most things technology-related, promises to continue, in accordance with Moore’s law, to the point that the vast majority of all web traffic will be automated, and much of that will be up to no good.

By Steve Prentice

About Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.

View Website
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Success for Today’s CMOs Being a CMO is an exhilarating experience – it’s a lot like running a triathlon and then following it with a base jump. Not only do you play an active role in building a company and brand, but the decisions you make have direct impact on the company’s business outcomes for…

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

Online Data Data storage is often a real headache for businesses. Additionally, the shift to the cloud in response to storage challenges has caused security teams to struggle to reorient, leaving 49 percent of organizations doubting their experts’ ability to adapt. Even so, decision makers should not put off moving from old legacy systems to…

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

The True Meaning of Availability What is real availability? In our line of work, cloud service providers approach availability from the inside out. And in many cases, some never make it past their own front door given how challenging it is to keep the lights on at home let alone factors that are out of…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…